Alexandria, Minnesota—November 11, 2020—SunOpta, Inc., a pioneer in plant-based foods and beverages, organic ingredient sourcing and production, is doubling down on its prediction of strong and sustainable growth for the oatmilk category.
SunOpta is excited to announce the expansion of its oat base processing facility in Alexandria, Minn. with a $26 million investment to meet the growing national demand for oatmilk. As one of the largest facilities of its kind in the United States, the plant will use proprietary enzymatic processes to break down whole oats into a liquid oat base that will then be used to make oatmilk and other products such as yogurt and ice cream. In addition to the current 66 SunOpta employees in Alexandria, this new addition will create more than 20 new jobs and will quadruple oat base production.
Over the past year, according to Nielsen, the oatmilk market in the United States has grown more than 250 percent and is now the second most popular plant-based milk in the country after almond milk. As consumers continue to look for plant-based beverage options in the milk aisle and beyond, SunOpta is optimistic about new innovative uses for oatmilk that will continue category growth. “We are passionate about our mission to help fuel the future of food and beverages. Plant-based products are demonstrably better for the environment and better for us. With this significant investment, we’re well positioned for the continued growth in the coming years as consumers continue their decades-long migration toward plant-based alternatives,” said Joe Ennen, SunOpta CEO. “At SunOpta, we’re not just investing in a product, we’re investing in our food future by bringing plant-based options to consumers that are healthy for them and for the planet.”
Alexandria Plant Manager Joe Gerhardt talks about the expansion. (AUDIO BELOW)
SunOpta supplies oat base as an ingredient to companies big and small, manufactures oatmilk for leading brands and food service operators throughout the country, and produces private label oat-based products for many top national retailers. The company has seen incredible success over the past year, with consistent growth and profitability. SunOpta’s stock price more than tripled between March and October 2020, and the company’s recent Q3 2020 earnings report showed its adjusted EBITDA more than doubled year over year for the fourth consecutive quarter.
Growth has been attributed to the company’s aggressive long-term vision with a focus on innovation and mobilizing the company’s roots in sustainability and decades of boots-on-the-ground expertise, enabling partners to continue making healthy plant-based diets accessible and affordable for everyone.
About SunOpta Inc.
SunOpta Inc. is a leading global company focused on plant-based foods and beverages, fruit-based foods and beverages, and organic ingredient sourcing and production. SunOpta specializes in the sourcing, processing and packaging of organic, natural and Non-GMO food products, integrated from seed through packaged products, with a focus on strategic vertically integrated business models.